So, in Ireland the public volatility continues. Here’s the latest SPB poll…
FG 22% (-4)
LP 8% (NC)
FF 18% (NC)
SF 22% (+2)
Ind/Small Parties 30% (+2)
Judging by the reaction of Sinn Fein supporters on Twitter, a huge relief that the Cahill scandal has had not effect on its support (as is customary on here we’re treating a 2% rise as being safely margin of error). In fact their real source of delight has to be the continuing and potentially serious damage to the traditional parties of Government.
Voter volatility is threatening to eat any form of collective action. The parallels with Britain are striking.
At the core of the problem is the fact there is no money with which to formulate the sort of short term actions that generally define the differences between Labour and Tory, Fine Gael and Labour… Noel Whelan nailed the detail of that here:
It bears repeating that the underlying social and economic factors that were at play in the dramatic outcomes of the 2011 general election still persist, and many of them will be more intense when the next election comes.
Unemployment is falling but the bulk of those unemployed in 2011 will still be unemployed in the spring of 2016; and while most of them were short-term unemployed then they will be long-term unemployed at the time of the next election.
Thousands and thousands of those at work are feeling increasingly squeezed even before they have to pay for water charges. The small tax cuts announced in the recent budget will not improve their mood much.
Those many, many householders who are trapped in property-related or other bank debt and who felt able to “kick the can” down the road at the start of the current economic crisis now find their situation has crystallised and the banks are being more belligerent.
At a point like this, there appears to be little opportunity cost in voting for none of the above…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty